I AM CHRISTOPHER LEACH THE ARTIST. I started this blog so that I can share with everyone my vast collection of transport photographs showing a personal and nostalgic view of the industry with images that span some 45 years taking in the U.K and some of Europe. I have no darkroom and so rather than being the perfectionist after tidying them up I upload the images warts and all, and even those that won't scan squarely or are scratched. In a way it adds age and character. You are all free to download these for your personal use but please remember I still own them and you are not just free to use them without prior permission for any knd of publishing. Click on images to enlarge them and if you want to see more leave your comments or visit my website for the mother-site with galleries including those Buses & Girls: PICTUREWORLD

Saturday, 21 October 2017

My Efe Collection: Some Southern & western National

When I started collecting model buses I thought I would just get one example from each operator. Of course it doesn't work like that and whether it be plenty of choice or just a subconscious bias I do tend to have several from certain fleets. I have had more exposure to this firm than the other BTC companies and if one counts Royal Blue as well I have accumulated eight vehicles. I expect too that my enthusiasm  for certain favourites is also shared by others so the likes of EFE follow our whims to make sales. One of my earliest child bus memories was going to Newquay with my mother and riding on a pre-war Bristol K5G open-topper which took us back to our hotel along the cliffs at Newquay. Also seen there was one of the Bristol LS coaches like the one at the end, so I had to have one of those. That holiday also sticks in my mind as I put my head out the window of the carriage on the single track line from Par and got a painful soot smut in my eye from the little tank engine as it chuffed it's way down to the coast.

Bee Line Metrobus in Stockport

One thing to be said about the Eighties bus scene it was certainly colourful. Red and yellow seemed to be a popular combination as can been seen here on a former West Midlands MCW Metrobus at Stockport. Operated in Bee Line livery it certainly looked better than in it's parent North Western most memorable 'jazzy' scheme.

Friday, 20 October 2017

National Express Jonckheere Rapide Coach

In the Eighties National Express tried to impose what they called the 'Expressliner' a Volvo B10M with Plaxton bodywork on to it's contractors. Thankfully not all did and the idea was dropped so we could still find a bit of variety at least. Amongst the more exotics was a Volvo B10M with imported Jonckheere bodywork. Some designs one goes off but with the passage of time I've grown quite fond of them and they had a good reputation for quality too. A nice touch is the way the National Express stripes on the bodywork seem to mirrors the slats of the front grill. I'm not sure who owned it, but S.U.T had some of this batch at least. A338 YDT was killing time on the London Embankment.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Scragg's Optare Solo in Hanley

Bus-wise the Potteries used to be a hive of activity which included a whole raft of Independent's. Today apart from D&G First Potteries has it very much to itself. But one of the less well know small operators remains as Scragg's run some minibuses including this Optare Solo seen in Hanley.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Thomas of Barry DFB 680W

Thomas of Barry did a joint service from Cardiff to Barry Island with Western Welsh. The arrangement continued in NBC days and a Duple bodied Leyland Leopard is seen in Cardiff where it could boast as decent queue of boarding passengers.

Thorkils of Koge at Roskilde

                                                                         A Danish Leyland-DAB

Monday, 16 October 2017

Crosville Trainer 616 LFM Must be Tea-Break

I missed the half-cab buses when those outside London quickly disappeared from the streets. But a few hung on as driver trainers like this Crosville Lodekka standing outside Warrington Bus Station whilst they all had a cuppa I expect. After all they all have to learn how to drink tea and read the paper so that they never have to commit that sin of leaving on time lol. Many of these trainers moved around the country but this was once DLG 6 not to be mistaken for DLB 967 which was 616 HFM.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Huddersfield East-Lancs bodied Daimler CVG6

A star attraction at the POPS running day at the Gladstone Pottery Museum in Longton was this very fine East-Lancs bodied Daimler CVG6. I had to have a picture of this and also took a ride as I have the Corgi OOC model of this actual bus. It's a pity Corgi got the red shade wrong.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Wilts & Dorset Olympian A903 JPR

A Wilts and Dorset coach-seated Leyland Olympian arrives in Bristol having made the long hilly journey up from Salisbury. I liked this spot at the entrance of Marlborough Street Bus Station and could usually cope with the bright sublight ahead but it's harder to get definition with a mostly white bus.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Travel West Midlands Enviro to Druids Heath on the 50 Service

I haven't had it many years but my well used Cannon G12 camera seems to have finally packed up with a shutter software problem so it's nice in a way that the last photo I took with it was a good one of an Enviro double-decker in Moseley on the even on Sundays very frequent 50 Service. Thankfully I have a spare G12 but I am not out of the woods yet as that one was playing up too.

Monday, 9 October 2017

New Volvo Bus at Neuchatel

In the late-Seventies Swiss towns and cities had to abandon their traditional colours for a corporate orange livery but thankfully the idea was dropped and most returned to their old colours or took the opportunity to change it to something new. Apart from the addition of the white relief these were the traditional hues at Neuchatel but applied in a modern way as seen on this still new Volvo in the Nineties.

SYT Dennis Dominator at Etwall

This South Yorkshire PTE Alexander bodied Dennis Dominator was some way from home when I photographed it whilst working a former Blue Bus service whilst on trial with Derby City Transport.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Chesterfield National2 at Pond Street, Sheffield

Chesterfield buses used to be green and cream but after privatisation adopted this mainly blue and yellow livery.  As well as National2's like this there were Series Ones, Dennis Falcons and maybe the odd surviving Leyland Panther. Sheffield's sky-line  in this view of Pond Street is dominated by recent architecture and it does look rather boxy and unwelcoming, a bit like the bus station really as bus enthusiasts with cameras weren't welcome here.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Arrowbrook in Chester

Busy Chester in 2015 and with just a month to go it seems all are ready for Christmas. Even the shade of green on the Arrowbrook Alexander 400 bodied Volvo looks a bit like Xmas wrapping paper. I'm sure though non-Welsh speakers might struggle with the destination on the Arriva Optare they might as well have written it in Chinese.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

London Buses M 1287 B287 WUL

I am probably over simplifying it here but generally one found more of London Buses Leyland Titans in the South and East whilst like this example, there were more Metrobuses in the North and West. In the long gone Sixties one had a good idea how far out from the centre of London one had reached as firstly the RTW's dwindled away, then the RTL's leaving just red RT's and RF's and of course pockets of Routemaster routes as the trolleybuses they replaced came a good way out too. 

Monday, 2 October 2017

Eddie Brown Tiger in York

Seen in York Eddie Brown operated this former Shearings Van-Hool bodied Leyland Tiger.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

London Buses DAF Ikarus on the 726 at Croydon

Not the most attractive of vehicles and numbered by London Buses as DK 6 was this Ikarus bodied DAF at Croydon on the 726 from Heathrow to Dartford.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

HT Scania 1682

In Eighties Leyland lost it's grip on some of it's key customers like the Danish HT of Copenhagen where as well as Volvo which it had always vied with Scania started to take chunks too. Looking very much like one of the former DAB Leylands was one of those swedish buses dating from about 1984-5. 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Western National ANA 92Y

Former National Bus coaches got spread far and wide by their new owners and this former National Travel NW ECW bodied Leyland Leopard found it's way to Tavistock on the edge of Dartmoor and in an area with it's narrow roads, stone walls and sharp bends it was perhaps not the most suitable vehicle for here. However it did look smart enough and the Western National livery of that time was fairly simple with a pleasant blue and white and agreeable to live with without the assistance of Ray Stenning to jazz it up with logos and bold branding.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Purple Motors of Bethesda UMG 230F

Purple Motors of Bethesda was one of the best known North Wales independents with roots going back to the 1920's In the early Eighties the fleet.contained only thirteen vehicles and despite half of them being Bedfords bought new there were some second-hand Leylands and AEC's too including this former Essex County Coaches Plaxton bodied Reliance.

Monday, 25 September 2017

B.V.G 1774 at Bahnhof Zoo

Before Reunification and the fall of The Berlin Wall the premier route in The West used to be the very frequent 19 which traversed the Kurfurstendamm and which also offered shoppers a cheap hop-on-hop-off cheap fare. But symbolic of the new order was the 100 which crossed the old divide bringing together the old city centre destinations like Alexander Platz and Unter den Linden in the East with the Reichstag and Bahnhof  Zoo in the West. Being a top tourist route usually mostly newer buses could be found on here but when it was busy it also saw the oldest and I enjoyed a ride on one of these MAN buses when only a couple were left in service, but like once familiar landmarks I miss them as fellow MAN 1774 of 1981 was so very typical of the fleet between the mid Seventies and early Nineties.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Warrington Dennis Dominator A746 GFY

A number of Municipal operators ran a few Dennis Dominators including Warrington which took four X and four Y-Reg buses with as usual here East Lancs bodywork. Following is a second-hand Daimler Fleetline for they had some from London or like this example from Greater Manchester.

Bedford OB BEP 882 at Wythall

To many mention old buses and they will immediately recall the very economical petrol-engined Bedford OB and with an elegant Duple Vista body like the second bus along, it was the classic early post war coach. As well as small country operators they also appeared in small numbers particularly in the big nationalised BTC companies fleets as they were ideal for local half-day tours particularly at the seaside.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Priory of Gosport Leyland Tiger

It's hardly surprising Victoria Coach Station in London has changed so much for there always seemed to be building work going on. Here in the Nineties a Plaxton Paramount bodied Leyland Tiger of Priory from Gosport breaks up the monotony of National Express white coaches.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Winterthur Articulated Vovo Bus 305

As well as narrow-gauge mountain railways and trams Switzerland still has a good number of trolleybus systems including Winterthur best known for it's 'Assurance' insurance advertisements. Here in 1989 was a Volvo articulated bus and a Saurer trolleybus in the background. It's easy to tell them apart as in the cantons trolleybuses don't have to carry registration numbers.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

BNE 736N: R Bullock of Cheadle

From a frontal view alone one would never be able to guess whether this former Greater Manchester Northern Counties bodied bus negotiating the building work at Piccadilly for the tramway was one of it's vast fleet of Atlanteans or a slightly less numerous Fleetline. As it turned out like most of the Manchester Independents who had a go following Deregulation Bullocks went for the Daimler Fleetline so I knew already. But they were in good company as Mayne and Walls liked them too. Following former 7420 was GM 7916 an Atlantean with a Park Royal body and easy to recognise against the crisp angled NC bodied buses as it had a more rounded front dome

Monday, 18 September 2017

ORD 120R Reading Trasport MCW-Scania Metropolitan

Reading Transport has always had a look of it's own reflected in the vehicles it bought, but another characteristic was that it sort of glanced over it's shoulder and looked to see what London was buying for it often seemed to copy them, and a good example was this MCW Metropolitan double-decker which was hoped with a chassis and running units by Scania might be a better buy than what the lackluster  Leyland organisation had to offer. It's downfall though was over-sophistication and rust. Nevertheless not only did they buy  thirty-three of these, in 1983 they acquired another twenty-one from London Transport so perhaps they could still be a good bus if well looked after and loved . No 120 looked not only smart but still rather impressive as it sped off from Reading Station for Ereleigh Road.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

London Transpot RT LUC 291

Elderly RT 2043 displayed at Alton this year as a new Putney Garage bus finds a young admirer in need of a photo.

Friday, 15 September 2017

A Green Line Olympian to Blythe

I used to go to Tyneside working quite frequently especially to Wallsend. But if time was at a premium which it usually was I didn't venture far off route perhaps stopping at Jarrow Bus Station and garage which was at the entrance of the Tyne Tunnel. But knowing I might retire soon I treated myself to a quick visit to Newcastle. I parked in the low town and paid for one-hour on a meter which should have been enough, but the heavens opened up and I had to scrabble for a few shots once the rain had stopped which is why perhaps I wasn't too worried about the odd car in the way. Still I quite like realistic truthful images as these tend to get more interesting as time goes on. I didn't have time to find another one of these Northhumria former Green Line ECW Olympian coaches so I did my best.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The at Lichfield825: Now that was a Midland Red Route.

Sadly not much is left of the old Midland Red, most of the garages have gone as have the bus stations, anyway at least the way they used to be. Of course there are still a few reinforced concrete bus stop poles around. But a decent reminder is those few bus routes which have not changed. The 825 going between Stafford and Lichfield is a good example but the actual route has been altered and it's fortunate that D7,D9 and the D10's double-deckers no longer work it as they would not get much further than Great Haywood from Stafford. The Sixties built bus station in Lichfield is still very much the same though where an Arriva Wright bodied VDL was seen although Volvo's are more common on this route.

A low height Metrobus with Yorkshire Traction

The MCW Metrobus was very common and gave Leyland a good run for it's money. But a low height Metrobus was something quite different as I think they only built one small batch of complete vehicles for Yorkshire Traction, I guess they were hoping to steal some of those large NBC orders as even if there were no low bridges the low height of the Leyland Olympian made it less prone to tree damage etc. It materialised just as the NBC was being sold off and for a time new bus orders dried up so it did not come along at a good time. No.716 was just leaving Leeds for Barnsley when still quite new.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Long Queues at Exeter Paris Street Bus Station

I've heard that like Bretonside Bus Station in Plymouth, Exeter Paris Street has gone too. I've visited here many times and I always liked it and especially in the days when the lower coach station was properly open and one was free to roam. Stagecoach buses impress with their newness but there is not much variety in this highly standardised fleet of Alexander-Dennis Enviros.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Bound for Putney Bridge Station, London Buses DMS 130 at Victoria

With so many views and vehicles to choose from photographing buses in a city like London should be doddle but it isn't. just sheer fatique is one factor but then there is the light source to worry about as well as deep shadow, traffic and people getting in the way. I tended to just take them anyway and especially with black and white one can do a lot to enhance a photo in the darkroom or I do now Photoshop on the computer.  This one is Daimler Fleetline CRG6 DMS 130 with a Park Royal body and is in all-over-red livery which thankfully didn't spread to the Routemaster fleet.

Monday, 11 September 2017

9091 WY or me Haunted by Beautiful Girls

Terrible isn't it how whenever I try to take a good three-quarter bus photo an attractive lady steps into view. After all how could I have known she would step out from behind the Wallace Arnold Plaxton Paramount bodied Volvo B10M down at Plymouth Hoe. Answers on a post card please lol.

A Covet Setra in Trieste

A dual-entrance Setra coach in Trieste has to compete with the cruise ships for our glances down by the quays at Trieste. I don't suppose they have many bus spotters in Italy as those long numbers are rather tiny almost useless.

Atlas Royal Tiger Doyan A200 RUR

We are more familiar with the Leyland bodied version of the top of the range coach the Doyan but a number also received Plaxton Paramount 3500 bodies like this example seen in East Anglia, possibly Bury St. Edmunds.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

First Leicester Street Deck SK16 GVD

A First Leicester Wright Street Deck bus departs from the new Haymarket Bus Station.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Chase Bus Service Leyland National AYR 309T at Walsall

One of the interesting things about Deregulation was the number of Independents that sprung up with quite a strong sense of identity which included vehicle choice. Chase Bus Services was one of the last strongholds of the National B Series and Mark1  running a sizeable fleet at the time when they were starting to get rare. This example came from London Buses and was seen in the old Walsall Bus Station. Other distinctive local Independents became a final refuge for other equally smartly turned out endangered vehicles such as Warstone's Green Bus which had over the years operated a wide variety of old Leylands, everything from Leyland PD3's and Tiger Cubs to Atlanteans. And whilst on the subject of the Atlantean not too far from Walsall North Birmingham ran a smart fleet of NC bodied Manchester Standards. These operators were the survivors and once they had been bought out the bus scene seemed very dull as the major operators had finally got rid of the competition. Ironic really as that was the opposite to what Deregulation was supposed to do but I'm afraid politicians are not paid to think things through.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

MAP: On The Buses with Doctor Beeching

Most bus enthusiasts of a certain age will remember M.A.P a kind of Doctor Beeching knife job on all the NBC bus services that were not viable. Rural East Anglia and Lincolnshire would have been rich pickings for the red pen but at least it found employment for a former Trent MCW bodied Leyland Atlanteen 67 ACH seen in Newark. I'm not sure if it was used as a mobile office or just display and information unit. One good thing about MAP, they didn't rip up all the roads the empty buses once used too, but on the other hand it might have been a bit of blessing for our congested towns.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Leicester AEC Renown East Lancs of 1965

Taking part in the Leicester historic buses running day from Birstall Park and Ride.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Arriva 4687 i Liverpool

Once central  Liverpool was almost exclusively worked by double-decker buses but over the years this has eroded to where they had become the obvious minority on the streets. But in recent years their numbers have increased again but I still have to turn around to take a second look. An Arriva Alexander-Dennis Enviro seen in Liverpool in 2016.

Friday, 1 September 2017


This Alexander (Belfast) bodied Leyland Leopard now preserved by local operator Select sometimes appears in Stafford. Here it stands at Pitcher Bank along with some much newer buses but I have to confess I know which one I find the most attractive.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

A Barand New Dennis Falcon in Nottingham

Nottingham was always innovating or trying new types. Indeed it was sometimes hard to keep up but despite being obviously one of theirs it certainly had a different look about it. But it was a bit special being a rare Dennis Falocon one of two fitted with East-Lancs bodywork 396-397 and tried alongside two of the Volvo Citybus with similar bodies 398-399. Obviously brand new 396 was seen in 1985.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Hyton & Dawson Lex Maxeta bodied Bedford YMO

Maidstone Corporation was one of those glorious conservative Municipals who ran a smart fleet of sturdy Massey bodied Leylands. But I imagine they must have had anew general manager who preferred  the 'cheap and cheerful' approach and out went all the proper buses and the town was invaded with Bedfords which like Ford's weren't really suited to intensive workings. Anyway many of the Bedfords soon found new homes including perhaps the most interesting this rare Bedford YMO/S with Lex Maxeta bodywork which was seen in Leicester with local Independent Hylton & Dawson.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Tigers Gather at Heathrow

The Leyland Tiger was only in production for a few years compared to the stalwart Leopard but they were certainly common in later years within the NBC. Coaches used to gather at Heathrow as a transport hub as the airports became an important destination for Green Line in the London area and National Express. Here we have three makes of bodywork, first being the rather attractive Duple Laser of National Welsh whilst the Green Line Tigers have the most common Plaxton body whilst the Berkhof was rather more unusual and few would survive as most of these coaches were quickly rebodied following Deregulation and B108 KPF would become an East-Lancs bodied bus with Midland Red North.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

BVG 2627 at Spandau on the 145 to Berlin Zoo or as here Zoolog...Garten

Traditionally most German town buses had been painted a rather indifferent shade of cream with perhaps some black lining out. But the age of Reunification brought fresh thinking and Berlin's BVG adopted this yellow, grey and white scheme which was obviously influenced by the similar liveries in Holland. It didn't look too bad either on this articulated Mercedes 0405G at Spandau unloading before making another trip back to the central Zoo terminus. Berlin has streamlined it's network and it might be easy for understanding taxpayers and commuters but they have cut bus services where they overlap with the U-Bahn and in later years there was no longer a direct bus service on this route which made it harder for tourists trying to get around on the buses.

Minerva Rundfart Volvo in Copenhagen

A rather typical European coach from the Sixties was by this time in 1982 an elderly Aabenraa bodied Volvo belonging to Minerva Rundfart with it's endless rows of small side windows and probubly dated from about 1967-68. Indeed it looked in original condition too with it's traditional neat letting and understated subtle traditional livery. By this time most tourist coaches in Copenhagen were fairly modern in bright liveries so I wonder if there was a bus enthusiast at work here for this sound looking vehicle should have been preserved.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Bedford SB Duple Vega with Down at Mary Tavy

To some this old Bedford gently decomposing in the middle of E.P Down's Coaches yard at Mary Tavy in Devon was just an eyesore but for bus enthusiasts it was a reason to stop. Eventually I did and just in time as shortly afterwards it returned home to Lancashire as a preservation project for it's first owner.